Kate Bush – Remastered

4 10 2018

Kate Bush will release remastered versions of her entire studio album catalogue on CD and vinyl in November 2018.

I was only thinking the other day that I would love to hear a remastered version of The Dreaming, and here we are. The power of positive thinking. Back to reality – tweets from the Kate Bush twitter account are as rare as hen’s teeth. So when one arrives in your timeline (a tweet, not a hen’s tooth), its normally significant, like announcing the 2014 Before The Dawn tour and now this extensive re-issue campaign. I feel they may have missed a trick with not using #NovemberWillBeMagicAgain, but KB-HQ twitter team, you can have that one for free if you want.

For the casual fan, the CD box-sets are a great way to add some classic albums to your collection. As an avid fan since 1978, I’m looking forward to hearing the new remasters of some of my favourite albums and hearing with new clarity so many songs that are etched into my soul.

The vinyl box-sets are, by their very nature, quite pricey, but being split into four different sets will help you build your collection over time, if vinyl is your format of choice.

From the initial artwork shown on Kate’s website, the CD and vinyl packaging looks beautiful, so I would suggest going for the physical releases, rather than digital, if you possibly can. Hopefully the details below will make it clear what is available, so you can start saving for your purchases!

The albums have been remastered by Kate and James Guthrie (apart from the live Before The Dawn album which retains its recent, original mastering).

So here is the detail, with the Amazon pre-order links.

THE CD BOX-SETS

Kate Bush Remastered Part I

KB remastered 1

  • The Kick Inside
  • Lionheart
  • Never For Ever
  • The Dreaming
  • Hounds of Love
  • The Sensual World
  • The Red Shoes

Amazon pre-order

KB-CD-Packshot-1-Square-3000_01


Kate Bush Remastered Part II

KB remastered 2

  • Aerial
  • Director’s Cut
  • 50 Words for Snow
  • Before the Dawn (Original Mastering)
  • 12″ Mixes
  • The Other Side 1
  • The Other Side 2
  • In Others’ Words

Amazon pre-order

KB-CD-Packshot-2-Square-3000 2


THE VINYL BOX-SETS

Kate Bush Remastered in Vinyl I

  • The Kick Inside
  • Lionheart
  • Never For Ever
  • The Dreaming

Amazon pre-order

KB-Vinyl-Packshot-1-(Flat)_0 1


Kate Bush Remastered in Vinyl II

  • Hounds of Love
  • The Sensual World
  • The Red Shoes

Amazon pre-order

KB-Vinyl-Packshot-2-(Flat) 2


Kate Bush Remastered in Vinyl III

  • Aerial
  • Director’s Cut
  • 50 Words for Snow

Amazon pre-order

KB-Vinyl-Packshot-3-(Flat) 3


Kate Bush Remastered In Vinyl IV

  • 12″ Mixes
  • The Other Side 1
  • The Other Side 2
  • In Others’ Words

Amazon pre-order

KB-Vinyl-Packshot-4-(Flat) 4


The track-listing for the Kate Bush Remastered In Vinyl IV box-set and the last 4 CDs of the second CD box-set consists of:

12” Mixes

Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)
The Big Sky (Meteorological Mix)
Cloudbusting (The Orgonon Mix)
Hounds Of Love (Alternative Mix)
Experiment IV (Extended Mix)

The Other Side 1

Walk Straight Down The Middle
You Want Alchemy
Be Kind To My Mistakes
Lyra
Under The Ivy
Experiment IV
Ne T’Enfuis Pas
Un Baiser D’Enfant
Burning Bridge
Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) 2012 Remix

The Other Side 2

Home For Christmas
One Last Look Around The House Before We Go
I’m Still Waiting
Warm And Soothing
Show A Little Devotion
Passing Through Air
Humming
Ran Tan Waltz
December Will Be Magic Again
Wuthering Heights (Remix / New Vocal from The Whole Story)

In Others’ Words

Rocket Man
Sexual Healing
Mná na hÉireann
My Lagan Love
The Man I Love
Brazil (Sam Lowry’s First Dream)
The Handsome Cabin Boy
Lord Of The Reedy River
Candle In The Wind





Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow

15 11 2011

So here it is, the 10th studio album from Kate Bush and the second release this year.  The last time Kate released two albums in one year was in 1978, when The Kick Inside & Lionheart were released.

The Directors Cut, a revisiting of material from earlier albums The Sensual World and The Red Shoes, was released earlier this year. The Directors Cut to me was in some ways the soundtrack to a tour that never was, an album that reworked songs in a way that Kate might have done if she had taken the tracks out of the studio environment and onto the live stage.

50 Words For Snow is an entirely different beast – 7 brand new songs clocking in at just over an hour, and unlike The Directors Cut, an album that demands repeated listening.  It’s also unlike any other Kate Bush album.

Opener Snowflakes rides on a soft synth pulse and simple piano, with hushed, reverb-drenched vocals, subtle strings and guitar.

“The world is so loud, keep falling, I’ll find you.”

Previous Kate Bush albums sound as if they have been put together over many months, or even years, whereas this album sounds very organic, with spaces that in the past may have been filled with instrumentation.  50 Words For Snow uses these spaces to create a unique atmosphere, perfectly in keeping with the glacial theme.

Lake Tahoe starts off like a long-lost Blue Nile track, and features male choral vocals alongside Kate’s.  There are a couple of very unique moments during Lake Tahoe, when the song stops, and after Kate exhales, starts again, which give the impression that you are there, in the room, listening to the performance as its being recorded.

“They say some days, up she comes, up she rises, as if out of nowhere.
Wearing Victorian dress.
She was calling her pet, “Snowflake! Snowflake!”
Tumbling like a cloud that has drowned in the lake.”

The song references the story of a woman who fell into the water, and in later years is seen rising from the lake. The songs focus of attention then shifts to a faithful pet dog, waiting for his owner to return, searching for her, pining for her as he gets more frail. Gorgeous minimal strings underpin the middle section of this song to great effect. Lake Tahoe is one of the saddest songs you will hear all year, and a real highlight of the album.

I won’t talk too much about the subject matter of Misty, other than to say I’ll never be able to watch Raymond Briggs The Snowman again without blushing. To some, this may be this albums Mrs. Bartolozzi moment, but Misty really captures that silent, deepest winter feel, and features some lovely double-bass and playful jazz drumming.

“He won’t speak to me.
His crooked mouth is full of dead leaves.”

The strings are sublime on the latter half of this track, which due to its length (over 13 minutes) has the space to develop fully, with off-kilter piano and guitar added to the increasingly frenetic ending, as the subject of the song looks for her now departed ice-cold lover.

Wild Man was released as the first single from the album, and is the most conventional track on 50 Words For Snow.  Sitars, chorused guitar and whispered vocals take centre-space on this song, unlike the piano led arrangements of the rest of the album. It breaks up the intensity, a little light relief from the emotion of the rest of the album. At times, the percussion almost seems to echo Kate’s 1980 single December Will Be Magic Again. I’m not sure if that was the intention?

“Lying in my tent, I can hear your cry echoing round the mountainside.
You sound lonely.”

Wild Man on Youtube

Snowed in at Wheeler Street is my favourite track on the album.  Kate’s voice is now deeper and with a more husky timbre at times, which suits this song, a duet with Elton John, perfectly. A recurring theme of losing people – lost in the London Fog, in the 9/11 attacks, in the city’s crowded streets, run through this powerful, deeply haunting track.

“I still have your smiling face, in a heart-shaped frame…We look so good together.”

I wonder if the title Snowed in at Wheeler Street is a nod to the Thomas Dolby track Cloudburst at Shingle Street?  Both songs have a similar synth sequence underpinning the track as well.

The title track 50 Words for Snow features Kate encouraging Stephen Fry to list 50 different expressions for the word snow. Backed by what sounds like mid-period Siouxsie & The Banshees, this track is heavily percussive and extremely playful, as Kate encourages the wordsmith Fry “Come on man you’ve got 44 to go!”. It works surprisingly well.

The album ends with Among Angels – another song that gives the impression of being an intimate live performance, with just you and the song. As the strings arrive, the feel of the album seems to change, almost as if the first shoots of Spring are arriving. A lovely end to the album.

As a fan of Kate’s music from way back in 1978, it’s comforting to hear an album as ambitious, as lyrically eccentric and as rewarding as this, so far into her history. 50 Words For Snow is an intense listening experience, this is not background music, and it’s not the sort of album to be scattered amongst other tracks in your playlist.

It’s early days yet, but this could turn out to be one of Kate’s finest albums.

Tracklist:
Snowflake
Lake Tahoe
Misty
Wild Man
Snowed in at Wheeler Street
50 Words for Snow
Among Angels

All lyrics & images in this review © Kate Bush

Buy 50 Words for Snow on Amazon

Kate Bush website








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